ELOP as mastering tool

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Cucco, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Okay, so I realize that just about any tool can be useful in one way or another, but I'm curious. Could either the Langevin or Manley ELOP be considered a decent tool for mastering?

    I've thought about the Langevin ELOP (Manley too, but I think I like the Langevin better - it's less "there" than the Manley) as a limiter and in any case, I could still use it during tracking sessions too.

    Thoughts anyone?

  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    "Been there done that" I suppose... It's, uh...


    I've use El-Op's on really "simple" material... Folk guitar & vocals that were really "dry" - A dB or two on a lot of sparse sounding recordings can be very cool... More than that, and it sounds pretty flat and pumpy unless you've got a seriously slow release available (can't remember if Man/Lan's do - I don't think so).

    Dunno if that helps or not... :lol:
  3. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Awesome!! Thanks John.

    I'm mainly looking to use it on some folk/bluegrass/light country and the occassional guitar (acoustic)/vox/small kit stuff. So, it sounds like it might be a hit or miss thing with the above (oh, I might try it for classical too - catching cymbal or BD overs).

    It's the tool that I'm looking at "buying time" with until I can save a little more for something a tad more powerful. (Looking at the GML comp/limiter right now, but that's a tad pricier...)

    Who knows, I might try that Buzz audio stuff too. I'm starting to hear some good things about it. Maybe Nathan will send me one to review...

  4. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Thanks Scott, but why do feel this way?
  6. Zilla

    Zilla Active Member

    Maybe the real question is, "what differentiates a device as being a decent tool for mastering versus recording/mixing?" Devices for mastering must be able to faithfully reproduce stereophonic program material. This is much more difficult function than reproducing a single instrument like guitar, vox, or sackbut. ELOP is an excellent unit for tasks in the latter catagory, IMO.
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    That I uderstand, but pardon me (and I'm not meaning to sound disrespectful), but what do feel differentiates the ELOP from being able to process a faithful stereo signal. After all, it is a dual mono/linkable configuration with similar circuitry to much of the beloved Manley gear (Vari-mu - not processing circuitry, but other physical devices in the signal path - minus the tube of course).

    I guess my question should be more of a "could the ELOP be used in a "step up" situation where I intend to get better gear in the future, but for the moment, I'm trying to do a better job than the doofuses down the road with the behringer gear and the finalizer express?"

    Thanks again!!

  8. iq

    iq Guest

    Hi Cucco,

    I'm using ELOP post the Vari-mu unit, but never found the limiter is useful. Only use it as low freq saturator... More level in elop, more bold in bottom... IMVHO...


    Indra Q
  9. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I never noticed the "stereo image" part of the conversation in here, but here's another place where an EL-Op shines...

    Parallel program compression.

    This is what my Pro VLA lived for - Until UAD has to come out with that wonderful LA2A plug... :lol: But I still have the VLA and use it occasionally for that task. That plug is so much easier though... And sounds brilliant... And there isn't a question of running out of headroom, as it's coming in 20 or 30dB under the rest of the mix anyway.

    The reason I don't really care about the accuracy of the stereo image in some of these cases, is that it can be very beneficial to the "meat" and density of a mix to collapse the image somewhat on the parallel. Or at least, it's not uncommon to mess with the panning somewhat - Sometimes I'll use the parallel just to fill in mostly one side of a problematic mix.
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Okay -

    So I got the ELOP (part and parcel with the Langevin DVC) My main use for it IS tracking, but I posted the question here to see if anyone HAD used it on mastering.

    So here are my initial thoughts (and I've now, over the past 2 days, spent over 10 hours working with it):

    This limiter does NOT work with most program material.

    It works beautifully on individual voices and I do mean *Beautifully*!!!! On male or female vox, it's hard to beat! On guitar (acoustic or electric) it's also amazing. On drums - it just doesn't do it. (In all fairness, Manley specifies this very thing in their manual too...)

    Here was my pleasant surprise -
    As a final comp/limiter for choral work, it is as smooth and transparent as any limiter I've had the pleasure of using.

    I used it just for sh*ts and grins on a recent recording of Handel's Messiah that I did for Xmas. The orchestra (chamber) and chorale (also chamber) was WAY too dynamic in most cases. Not a matter of audiophile dynamic ranges, more a matter of uncontrolled playing and singing getting away from the musicians. Don't get me wrong, there were some VERY talented musicians in this ensemble and some excellent soloists, but for the most part, they kept themselves in check and didn't need any limiting or compression.

    So, after running this mix through, to catch the stray peaks which were all too common in this recording, I have to say "WOW." Not only did it do an admirable job, I think I'm actually going to keep this version of the track.

    In general, I was able to get a good 3 dB boost from the original recording by removing numerous odd peaks which was just enough to reign it in but not enough to take away the dynamic impact of this piece.

    So... The answer to my original question is now quite apparent.

    No, the ELOP is not a good mastering tool. However, it DOES surprise everyonce in a while and deliver the goods.

    As for a tracking tool, I'd be hard pressed to find a 2-channel strip with pre/eq/comp-limiter this good anywhere NEAR the price of the ELOP.

    J. :cool:
  11. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Had something in particular in mind? 8)
  12. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    HELLS Yeah man!!!

    Are you serious?? I've been foaming at the mouth to give these boxes a run through the paces.

    Contact me offline if you are willing to get me a review sample!

    Any of the Pres or the stereo opto would be FANTASTIC!! (I've got a recording of Mozart's Requiem coming up where I'm pulling out all the stops - I could see one of the stereo pres fitting into that equation! - Comparing easily against DAVs, Grace and (for giggles) the stock pres in the Mackie Onyx.)

  13. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    I have a new transformerless MA2.2 I could let you borrow for a few weeks. Give me a email or call sometime this week in the afternoon. I've been meaning to send you a couple t-shirts too (one for the Mrs.).
  14. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    You are the man!!

    I'll call you tomorrow afternoon.


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